Spikers capture Mid-Continent crown


It was a typical weekend for the NIU volleyball team.

They thoroughly dominated two more Mid-Continent Conference teams, delighted the fans with crashing kill after kill and more or less made the opposition look like smurfs trying to spike a volleyball over Mt. Everest.

Valparaiso and the University of Illinois-Chicago became the latest victims in the Mid-Con slaughterhouse also known as Chick Evans Fieldhouse.

First came Friday night, Valpo and a quick (58 minutes) 15-3, 15-7, 15-7 victory.

Kori Schauer led the way with 13 kills and a .647 hitting percentage. She also teamed up with Becky Ramsey to block whatever the Crusaders tried to spike. Schauer wound up with eight block assists and three solo stuffs while Ramsey finished with five assists.

When Ramsey didn’t block, she picked up 13 digs, eight kills and registered a .538 hitting clip.

“I saw a lot of good things out on the court,” head coach Pete Waite said. “I was especially happy with our blocking, there were a lot more we blocked straight down than into the air.”

The result for Valpo was only 18 kills on 90 attempts minus 19 errors for a -.011 attack percentage.

The victory also clinched first place in the Mid-Con for the Huskies. That means the tourney will be held at Chick Evans Fieldhouse over Thanksgiving Break.

Next up was UIC and Seniors Night.

The Huskies never even let the Flames in the match for this one.

Final score: 15-1, 15-1, 15-5.

In the first game, the Huskies racked up 13 unanswered points, starting with two service aces by Nikki Kozak to begin the match, before UIC could muster a single point.

The second game was equally as uneven. This time the Huskies rolled to a 12-0 advantage before a Flames score.

UIC was able to hold the Huskies to two points for a while in the third game, but they didn’t score any either so the result was the same.

The match marked the last regular season home match for the team and therefore the last match for the five seniors that have graced the hard court for the Huskies the last four seasons.

These five, Amy Foulke, Amy Vander Meer, Nikki Kozak, Kori Schauer and Becky Ramsey, will all go down in the Huskie history books as five of the greatest athletes ever to play at NIU.

Between them, at least one, if not more than one, is ranked in the top ten in every category in which a statistic is kept. In most cases, one of the five is at the top of those categories.

“It was an emotional weekend for us,” Waite said. “The seniors have just rewritten the record books and taken this program to a level it’s never seen before.

“They came here believing in me that we would step forward and be a highly competitive program. They’ve worked really hard for all the accomplishments they’ve achieved. They are just a fantastic group of people.”